Author Archives: Damien Kingsbury

About Damien Kingsbury

http://www.deakin.edu.au/profiles/damien-kingsbury

Rough seas ahead for the Pacific Islands Forum (published in Crikey.com)

The Pacific Ocean may have been named for its peaceful winds, but this year’s 18 nation Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) has been among the most combative in its five-decade history. At issue was a confluence of sharply competing interests, with China’s growing role at the centre of them. China’s delegation stormed out of the meeting […]

PM’s visit just one small part of Australia-Indonesia relations

The visit to Indonesia by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, within days of taking office, has been widely hailed as a success, with the signing of an effective free trade agreement and a further tilt towards a closer strategic relationship. The five point agreement visit was said to ‘add ballast’ to the bilateral relationship, reprising […]

Politics in turmoil

Most Australians are right now fairly exasperated with what they reasonably regard as the infantile, ego-driven behavior of their political leaders. But, in many respects, what is happening is not confined to Australia and is, at base, a product of a shared set of political problems. In the United States, the election of President Donald […]

Proposed Afghanistan ceasefire a sign of a government in trouble

Afghanistan President, Ashraf Ghani’s proposed month-long ceasefire with the country’s Taliban insurgents to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha is looking like an act of desperation. Regardless of whether it is taken up, or not, the proposed ceasefire is a sign of a government in trouble and grasping at straws. The proposed ceasefire follows […]

Turnbull politically wounded, limping

Malcolm Turnbull has brought the question of his leadership to a head by calling for a party room vote which, as expected, he won, if narrowly. However, the vote has shown that there is open division within the Liberal Party’s parliamentary ranks. The PM has just been challenged by one of his most senior ministers, […]

Fraser Anning: text of an interview with CNBC

 CNBC: Does Mr Anning’s speech have any broader significance for Australian politics? DK: It is part of a debate being held by some politicians and individuals at the margins of Australian political thinking and, as with all such calls for bigotry, tries to capitalise on a sense of racial division among some of the most […]

Army wins Pakistan’s elections

Pakistan’s elections have been run and won … by the Pakistan Armed Forces. The adage that it takes more than elections to have  democracy is ringing true in what many are calling Pakistan’s ‘silent coup’. Former test cricketer and serial political candidate Imran Khan’s Pakistan Movement for Justice (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ,or PTI) was on track […]

Australia sends Tamil asylum seeker back to be arrested.

When it comes to asylum seeker policy in Australia, one of its biggest blind spots concerns Sri Lanka and the people, mostly ethnic Tamils, who have been fleeing there in fear of their lives. Sri Lanka continues to marginalize and persecute Tamils, continuing to chase the ghost of the long destroyed Tamil separatist organization the […]

Trump’s Helsinki coup de grace after disastrous European visit

A colleague tried to (seriously) explain Donald Trump’s behavior as possibly reflecting the onset of a serious brain disease. My take is that, while it is difficult to find a rational explanation for his behavior, that let’s him off far too lightly. Trump is emotionally undeveloped, hugely egocentric/narcissistic and a very long way from being […]

The beginning of the end of the Syrian civil war

The surrender of Daraa by Syrian rebels to Syrian government forces marks the beginning of the end of the Syrian civil war. Although the rebel forces remain concentrated in the north and east of the country, the Assad regime will now be able to concentrate its forces and those of its allies to defeat remaining […]